Choosing Grace Over Grammar   Leave a comment

I grew up believing that proper English distinguishes the educated, the ones smart enough to be heard.  The clarity and precision of that judgment fit neatly into my outlook on life: there is a right and wrong, choose the right and all will be well.  For me, English is a standard, a measure of value; for Kimberly, English is a function, a measure of clarity.  In other words, she values communication as a basis for understanding and relationship.  What needs to be accurate is the meaning, not the grammar.  She has little patience for my pokes at poor writing since she has regard only for the content, not the wrapping paper.  Are the words sincere and true, clear and meaningful?  If so, how can they be poor?  They are rich and powerful.

I fought a noble fight for years, but I knew I could never win because she refused the correctness argument I spun and made it all about grace.  Yesterday I finally conceded.  It is one thing to recognize a culture’s values and accommodate them so as to reduce barriers in our interactions–good grammar appeals to Americans, especially educated Americans.  But it is an entirely different thing to accept those values as my own.  I have had an elitist, unchristian outlook, and I apologize.

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Posted December 26, 2014 by janathangrace in Personal

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